Assistant Fire Management Officer - Direct Hire Authority

Luray, Virginia
May 24, 2022
May 26, 2022
Full Time

The primary purpose of this Assistant Fire Management Officer position is to serve as a technical expert in fire and aviation management with responsibility for, but not limited to:
  • Providing a comprehensive knowledge of resource and ecosystem management, fire suppression, prescribed fire, and aviation management;
  • Remaining abreast of the latest scientific, technological advances in the fire sciences and apply them in planning and directing fire management program activities;
  • Completing discrete phases of fire and aviation management plans;
  • Reviewing and providing input into preparedness and operating plans related to wildland fire management;
  • Ensuring the fuels management program is consistent with ecosystem management principles and land use plans;
  • Identifying and evaluating the implications of the fuels management program on air quality standards and mitigation guidance;
  • Briefing internal and external managers on fire program issues/activities; and
  • Developing and overseeing the implementation of interagency fire prevention plans and operations.
Physical Demands: Normally the work is sedentary but often requires physical exertion while overseeing fire suppression activities including walking over rough, steep, uneven terrain in all types of weather. The incumbent is faced with emergency situations at all hours and must respond quickly. The position may require long shifts or multi-day assignments under primitive living conditions during emergencies. During the fire season, extended fire assignments away from the unit may be required under very stressful conditions.

Working Conditions: Although work is generally performed in an office setting, field work involves exposure to temperature extremes, both from weather and fire conditions where falling trees and the presence of smoke and/or dust can create hazardous conditions. Fire suppression work requires that protective clothing be worn during fire assignments. A variety of safety practices and precautions must be exercised.

POSITION LOCATION: Luray, VA. Shenandoah National Park is located in Virginia, approximately 90 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. The park consists of approximately 197,000 acres of land, including 80,000 acres designated as wilderness. It also contains 105 miles of Skyline Drive and 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Annual visitation is around 1.3 million, which has direct and extensive economic impact on the surrounding area (eight counties and nine municipalities).

The Fire Management Program at Shenandoah NP is a diverse and complex program that manages fire and fuels through prescribed fire, manual/mechanical thinning, and fire suppression. The fire program staff at Shenandoah is responsible for providing program direction and wildland fire subject matter expertise to 18 additional National Park Service units throughout Virginia and southern Maryland (Mountains to the Sea Zone). The Fire Management program is supervised by a Fire Management Officer and an Assistant Fire Management Officer. The staff also includes two permanent full time Forestry Technicians, a career seasonal Forestry Technician, a Fire Program Management Assistant, and 3-5 temporary "seasonal" Forestry Technicians. The Mountains to the Sea Zone has a robust and highly skilled workforce of collateral duty firefighters that actively participate in fire management projects and incident response.


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship required.
  • Appointment subject to background investigation and favorable adjudication.
  • Meet Selective Service Registration Act requirement for males.
  • Selectee will be required to participate in the Direct Deposit Electronics Funds Transfer Program.
  • You will be required to submit to a drug test and receive a negative drug test result prior to appointment. In addition, this position is subject to random testing for illegal drug use.
  • You will be required to operate a government (or private) motor vehicle as part of your official duties; a valid driver's license is required. You will be required to submit a Motor Vehicle Operator's License and Driving Record. You must also submit (within a State sealed envelope or submitted directly by the State authorities), and at your own expense, all certified driving records from all States that disclose all valid driver's licenses, whether current or past, possessed by you.
  • Applicants must provide a copy of their IQCS Master Record or equivalent.
  • You may be required to work on-call, evenings, weekends, holidays, overtime and shift work.
  • If you are a new employee or supervisor in the Federal government, you will be required to complete a one-year probationary period.
  • Subject to frequent extended travel particularly during fire season, and you must complete training and obtain/maintain a government charge card with travel and/or purchase authority.
  • This position is considered "emergency/essential," meaning the employee is expected to report for duty and expected to work for long hours exceeding normally scheduled shifts for emergencies.
A selectee who would like to maintain arduous NWCG qualifications will be subject to the following:
  • Prior to appointment, you must be determined physically fit by an authorized government physician to perform strenuous and physically demanding duties; and also pass a medical examination (which includes vision, hearing, cardiovascular, and mobility of extremities) given by an authorized government physician. You will also be required to undergo periodic medical examinations throughout employment.
  • The Work Capacity Test (WCT-Pack Test) as a method for assessing an employee's fitness levels for fire qualifications in the positions covered by this recruitment notice. Employees required to pass a WCT-Pack Test as a "condition of employment"


All qualifications must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Credit will be given for all appropriate qualifying experience. To receive credit for experience, your resume MUST clearly indicate the nature of the duties and responsibilities for each position, starting and ending dates of employment (month/year), and the resume must reflect full and/or part-time or total number of hours worked (i.e., work 40+ hours a week, rather than indicating full-time). If part-time, the hours must be annotated to be able to pro-rate the amount qualified specialized experience.


Candidates must possess a minimum of 90-days of wildland firefighting experience, gained through fire line work in containment, control, suppression or use of wildland fire. You must clearly demonstrate this experience in your resume, including the months, days and hours per week at which the work was performed in order to be considered.

The Department of Interior defines wildland firefighting experience as: On-the-line wildland firefighting experience gained through containment, control, suppression, or use of wildland fire. This experience can be met by serving in a temporary, seasonal, or equivalent private sector fire position for no less than 90 days. Periods of wildland firefighting experience, gained through militia and rural fire departments, can also be credited, as long as the total amount of this experience equates to at least 90 days. Wildland fire is defined as any non-structure fire that occurs in the wildland. Two distinct types of wildland fire have been defined and include wildfire and prescribed fires as follows: Wildfire: Unplanned ignitions or prescribed fires that are declared wildfires. Prescribed Fires: Planned ignitions. This description includes only fireline experience on a Prescribed Fire; it does not include experience in the planning stages. Prescribed fire experience must be supplemented by fire suppression experience in order to be creditable as previous wildland firefighting experience. You must clearly demonstrate this experience in your resume, including the months, days and hours per week at which the work was performed in order to be considered.



1. Degree: Biological Sciences, Agriculture, Natural Resource Management, Chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
NOTE: The following additional subject fields have been determined to be acceptable as directly related degree programs for fire management jobs in this series: wildland fire management, forestry agronomy, biochemistry, biometrics, ecology, fishery biology, general fish and wildlife administration, horticulture, natural resources management, physiology, plant physiology, rangeland management, soil science, wildlife biology, zoology, agricultural extension, animal science, botany, entomology, genetics, microbiology, pharmacology, plant pathology, plant protection and quarantine, soil conservation, toxicology, wildlife refuge management. In addition, natural resources related disciplines include chemistry, environmental sciences (not environmental or natural resources policy), hydrology, outdoor recreation if it has a natural resource emphasis, physics, fire management, earth sciences, geology, meteorology related weather, climate, physical geography if it has a natural resource emphasis, and watershed management. You must provide a legible copy of your transcript(s)


2. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. You must provide a legible copy of your transcript(s ). Courses equivalent to a major may be defined as 24 semester hours in biological sciences, natural resources, wildland fire management, forestry or agriculture equivalent to a major field, of study, plus appropriate experience or additional education that is comparable to that acquired through successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in the biological sciences, agriculture, or natural resources.


In addition to meeting the basic requirement, applicants must possess at least one of the following minimum qualifications by the closing date of this announcement:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 grade level is required in addition to meeting the basic qualification requirements. Experience at the GS-9 must include Fire Program Management elements such as described below:
  • Developing, reviewing and evaluating fire management plans for ecological soundness, or consistency with land management goals and/or potentially adverse impacts to cultural and natural resources;
  • Conducting field inspections before and after prescribed or wildfires to determine if resource objectives were achieved and/or to evaluate the effectiveness of actions taken; and,
  • Analyzing the ecological role of fire and its use and/or exclusion, and smoke management.

In addition to the Fire Program Management elements listed above, appropriate GS-9 experience must have included EITHER prescribed fire/fuels management - OR- fire management operations as described below:

Prescribed fire/fuels management: Examples of this type of experience may include:
  • Professional forest or range inventory methods and procedures (e.g., Brown's planar intercepts for dead and down fuels; live fuel loading assessments);
  • Analysis of fuel loadings and determination of appropriate fuel treatment methods (i.e. prescribed fire, mechanical, chemical, or biological treatments);
  • Land use planning and environmental compliance;
  • Evaluation of prescribed burn plans or fire management plans to ensure fire containment is possible and identification of appropriate suppression contingencies if fire containment is not obtained.

Fire management operations: Experience in analyzing and/or applying fire management strategies in at least five of the following activities:
  • Mobilization and/or dispatch coordination
  • Fire prevention and education
  • Training
  • Logistics
  • Equipment development and deployment
  • Fire communication systems
  • Suppression and preparedness
  • Aviation


EDUCATION: Successful completion of at least three years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or PH.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a field of study directly related to the position. You must provide a legible copy of your transcript(s).


COMBINATION OF EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION: Successful completion of a combination of graduate education (more than two years of graduate education, but less than three full years) and experience as described above. To combine education and experience, first take the number of completed graduate coursework in excess of 36 semester hours (2 years) and divide by 18 semester hours. Then take the number of months of full-time experience as described above and divide by 12 months. Add the percentages together; The total must equal at least 100 percent to qualify. You must provide a legible copy of your transcript(s).

Volunteer Experience: Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


When submitting college transcripts, you must submit a legible copy of transcripts from an accredited institution with your name, school name, credit hours, course level, major(s), and grade-point average or class ranking. Transcripts do not need to be official, but if you are selected for this position and you used your education to qualify, you must provide official transcripts before you begin work.

If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet qualification requirements, you must show that your education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university.

Additional information

This notice is being issued to recruit personnel to occupations for which a critical hiring need has been identified. To assist in filling these positions, OPM has granted the Department of the Interior "Direct Hire Authority".

A selectee receiving a first appointment to the Federal Government (Civil Service) is entitled only to the lowest step of the grade for which selected The display of a salary range on this vacancy shall not be construed as granting an entitlement to a higher rate of pay.

This announcement may be used to fill additional positions if identical vacancies occur within 90 days of the issue date of the referral certificate.

The National Park Service has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework with supervisor approval.

A Recruitment Incentive May Be Authorized for a newly selected employee when appointed to a permanent, temporary, or term position. A Federal employee who is transferring to the National Park Service from another component, bureau or Federal agency and who does not meet the conditions under 5 CFR §575.102 is not eligible for a recruitment incentive.

A Relocation Incentive May Be Authorized for a Federal employee when the employee must move, as directed by the National Park Service (NPS) either through a management directed reassignment or selection for employment, to a different location at least 50 miles away from the one where his/her position of record held at time of selection is currently located, due to a need of the NPS. A relocation incentive is not the same as a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move and, as such, may be granted in conjunction with one another.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document that you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application. Click the following link for more information, .

This is a secondary-administrative firefighter position under the special retirement provisions of 5 U.S. C. 8336 (c) (CSRS) and 5 U. S. C. 8412 (d) (FERS). PLEASE NOTE: Applicants may meet qualification requirements but may not be eligible for special retirement coverage. If such an applicant is selected, they will be placed in the regular retirement system. FERS TRANSITION REQUIREMENT: To be eligible for Secondary retirement coverage under FERS, an employee must: 1) transfer directly (without a break in service exceeding 3 days) from a primary position to a secondary position, AND 2) complete 3 years of service in a primary rigorous position including any such service during which no FERS deductions were withheld, AND 3) must be continuously employed in a secondary position(s) since moving from a primary rigorous position, except for any break in employment from a secondary position that began with involuntary separation (not for cause). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure this office has enough information to determine your special retirement status to ensure you do not lose benefits (normally through submission of your work history or other documentation that demonstrates work history of approved covered positions). You must let this office know if you are in a Primary coverage position.